Athos Morais, first-year business and data science major from São Paulo, Brazil, plays on the William Jewell College men’s tennis team. Morais spoke to the Monitor about the struggles of being a student-athlete, his goals for the year and adjusting to life in the United States.
Being a first-year student in college comes with plenty of challenges of its own, but balancing academics with athletics brings extra challenges for student-athletes. Morais cited time management as being the biggest struggle.
“The hardest thing in being a student-athlete is for sure the time and how you organize it,” he said. “It is hard to be well-humored and have energy for classes after practice.”
These challenges haven’t lowered Morais’ expectations for himself. He commented on his academic and athletic goals for this year.
“I want to finish my athletic season with a 3.0 win ratio and finish the year with a GPA higher than 3.4,” said Morais.
Morais also has high expectations for the tennis team this year, despite the youth of the team.
“We have a great roster and a good chance to make it into the conference,” he said. “We have no seniors, so it’s a young team, but at the same time we have good chemistry; that makes us strong.”
Strong perfectly describes the men’s tennis teams start to the season. After dominating the Missouri Valley College Invitational to start the fall season, they beat Baker University 6-1.
Morais then went on to discuss the differences between the U.S. and Brazil, as well as the challenges involved with going to school in a different country.
“Language, culture and especially the customs of living are the biggest differences. It is not totally different,” Morais said.
He laughed when talking about what about life in the U.S. surprised him the most.
“It is really shocking how you guys from North America treat people well; I’m not used to it,” he said.
For Morais, the hardest part has been being away from his family. Despite this, he is glad he decided to play tennis at Jewell and is excited to see what the future holds.
Photo courtesy of William Jewell Marketing.